Jentezen Franklin - What To Do When You're Running On Empty
I can worry, I can be afraid, or I can lift my hands "It may look"... Clap your hands Oh, bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. We love You, Lord. Smile at somebody and you may be seated. I want you to turn with me quickly to 1 Samuel 16. "Now the Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.'"
Samuel was grieving because Saul whom He had anointed had fallen to great sin and been rejected now by God and had been removed and died on the battlefield without the favor and the blessing of God. And now, Samuel is weeping and mourning and crying. I think that there's a powerful lesson in this text that there comes a time when we are to mourn and we are to grieve and we are to have liquid pain of tears that express the brokenness of our life or something that has happened. We don't live in denial that life brings things that can crush us and break us. But we also need to remind ourselves that as sure as there's a time to mourn, there comes a time when God says my purpose and plan for you is never to leave you in perpetual brokenness, to mourn and grieve in sorrow the rest of your life no matter what has happened to you. And He said to Samuel, "Fill your horn with oil and go," listen to these words, "for I have provided".
Everything that you're mourning about that you've lost, I want you to know it's not that there. I've got stuff in your future that I have already provided, I've already taken care of, I've already lined it up, I've already opened the door, and you've got more ahead of you than you do behind you, and you can't live and mourn and grieve over what went wrong when I've got such a plan for your future that it's already provided. You had to go through that to get to where I'm taking you. Now, horns in the Bible, He said, "I want you to fill your horn with oil," and horns in the Bible represent power. If you see and read some of the Old Testament prophets, they would prophesy and they would see visions and they would see a horn.
The Book of Revelation talks about its types, types and shadows, but always, horns in the Bible, the horns of a ram or an animal represent power. Horns were used in the Old Testament. Like, a ram's horn would be used, and God commanded that the Old Testament prophets carry the anointing in that horn because the anointing is powerful. They kept the anointing oil in the horn because it's powerful, and He wanted to emphasize that when you anoint with oil, I don't want you to do it routinely.
I want you to do it understanding what you're doing is powerful. The power of the anointing was so real in Elisha that it got in his bones, and the Bible said after he died, they through a corpse in on top of his body and when the man, the dead corpse, touched his bones, the anointing in his bones raised the dead. The anointing was so powerful in Simon Peter that the Bible said they lined the sick people up and when he walked by, his shadow touched them, and they were healed. It was so powerful in Moses that they had to put a veil over his face because his face was shining with the anointing. It was so powerful in the Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts that the Scripture said after he preached, they would take his clothing, probably his prayer shawl, and they would cut it up, and they would send it to certain people who were demon possessed or sick in their bodies and when they would lay those cloth's that had been anointed on those people, they would be healed.
Jesus, many people say, the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5 touched Jesus, but she never touched Jesus. She touched the hem of His garment. She never touched Jesus. She touched something that touched Jesus. And sometimes if you can't touch Jesus, if you can get around somebody who's touched Jesus, the anointing is that powerful. If you can't touch Him, you can touch somebody who has. That's why you're in a good place today 'cause there's some people who have been praying. They would smear them with oil or pour oil on them. So powerful was the anointing that they cherished it, and three times were told that Samuel poured the oil out of his horn of oil on something and three times it was rejected. The first time is found in 1 Samuel 8. The Bible said, and I'm gonna preach to you for just a minute on what to do when you're running empty. It's gonna take me a minute to get there, and you've got a minute, and I'm gonna take advantage of that minute because I'm gonna convince you that you're not gonna leave here with a grieving, mourning, depressed...
I think the whole world is trying. I'm not denying the reality of the seriousness of the times and the challenges that we're facing on every front. It's not one thing that will cause you to feel empty. It's multiple things that just drain you, and that's the time we're living in. 1 Samuel 8, the people gathered, and they actually said this to Samuel, "Behold, you are old". Boy, if y'all ever do that to me, I just want you to know. I'll say you are too. "Behold you are old and your sons walk not in your ways. Make us a king".
You know what was taking place here? Samuel had poured out his whole life on the Nation of Israel, and now they were saying to him if you read the whole story, we don't want that old stuff anymore. We're tired of the old messages. We're tired of the old way you preach. We're tired of that oil and that horn of oil, and we're tired of all that praise and worship. We want a new way. We want a king. We want a king. We've seen their praise. We've seen their inaugurations, and we want a king just like all the other nations, and we reject your oil. We want to go a different way. You're too old school. You're way too old school, Samuel. You actually speak and you're an old man, and you've got old ways, and you like those old moves of God, and we want something new and fresh.
And there's nothing wrong with new and fresh and change. Thank God for it, but you can never get away from the anointing. You can never get away from the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes church effective. I don't care what kind of building you get. I don't care what you have. I don't care what great musicians you have. If the anointing is not there, it's sounding brass, tinkling cymbal good for nothing. Not only that, they said your sons don't walk in your ways. They said you poured your oil.
Now, I want you to see it. He's poured it out on his congregation, the Nation of Israel, and they've rejected it. And now, he filled his horn up again, and he poured it out on his sons. He had two sons, and the Bible said that those boys did not walk in the ways of their father. And I wonder how many parents and grandparents are listening to me right now and your heart is grieving and you're mourning because your kids or your grandkids are not walking in the ways of the Lord. You raised them right. You brought them to church. You did everything, you poured and poured and poured and poured your oil on them, and today, they seem to have turned their back on God. Don't keep mourning. The oil is going to work. You've got to give it time, but God is faithful. Say amen, somebody. The Bible said that Moses's mother hid him. Every mother understands that. Every dad understands that.
There are things we have to hide our children from. You cannot with technology you cannot just leave the computer on and let the children look at anything and everything and T.V. and satellite and music. You hide them. You hide them when they're young. You hide them. Oh, I've gotta hide them from drugs, hide them from alcohol, hide them from porn, hide them from bad influences, and you can do that when they're young and they're young and they're young, but there came this point as they were getting older, teenagers, still hide them. They've got attitudes now. They didn't have those attitudes. You told them when they were little to do it, and they did it, but now they've got attitudes. And all of you who are ready to write a book on how to parent beautiful, wonderful, obedient children, wait until you get teenagers. Shut up. I don't wanna read your stupid book. I don't. I'm sorry. Until you've raised five of them, you can come talk to me then, and I'll listen to you and even then you're not coming in like some know it all. You're coming in a broken-down something or... All I can tell you is the anointing is all that really lasted.
And so, I mean, but there comes a time. There came a time. Even Moses's mother hid him. You remember pharaoh's spirit was trying to kill all the boys two years of age and under, and she hid him? She hid him. She hid him. And there's this amazing verse in Exodus 2:3, "And when she could no longer hide him". And when she could no longer hide him. Parents, this is why this is so important. That's why being together in God's house is so important that what they're getting in KidPak is so important because there will come a day when you can't make the decisions for them. You can't hide them. You can't say no, the peer pressure. You can't hide them. You can't pick their friends forever. You can't pick their dates forever. You can do it while that, "You're still in my house. Do you want to eat? Would you like? Do you"?
I told you, one time we had one that was acting big and bad and she kept the door locked all the time. I came home one day, and she didn't even ask me to do it. She did. Cherise took the door off the hinges. Had to halt. I said, "Where is the door". She said, "I'm tired of knocking on that door and it being locked, so I removed the door". That's what a... Yeah. But you can only cover and conceal and preserve and guard for so long, and then they will have to choose for themselves. They'll go off to college. They'll go off with their friends on a Friday night. They're gonna choose for themselves. And he poured his oil on his sons, and they knew the way, but they chose not to go the way. I mean, this is two strikes. He's a two-time loser. He poured it on the congregation. They rejected it. He poured the anointing oil on his own sons, poured his favor, poured his life into them, his faith into them, his knowledge into them, and they rejected him.
So now, there's this guy named Saul, and God says, "Fill your horn with oil and go pour it on him". He's a tall, powerful leader. And when he poured the oil on him, the Bible said Saul was turned into another man and began to prophesy and he was the first king of Israel, and he was so anointed and so powerful, and now, Samuel was living vicariously through Saul. He's poured his oil. He thinks finally. Finally I've poured it on the king. They rejected it. My own children rejected it, but look, look, look. Saul has got it, but then the story ends tragically that Saul turned his back on God, started dealing in the occult and going to a witch and a fortune teller, talking to the dead. You better stay away from that stuff because it brought the curse of God on Saul's life so much so that God said these words, "I regret making him king". God's blessed you.
Don't make God repent for having blessed you with great, great blessings because you didn't steward it and you didn't handle it right. The climate of rejection steps into Samuel's life, and he's been rejected by Saul, and he's been rejected, the oil that he poured by his two sons and now the nation. And he gets to this place in his life where he's grieving, and that's where we picked up the text. I'm almost where I wanna be. And he's mourning and he's crying and he can't get over stuff in his past. And that's where many of you are today because the enemy loves it when you stay grieving too long. Saul failed, Saul broke his heart, and he's mourning, and God came down and said, "How long will you mourn over Saul? I have rejected him from reigning over Israel"? How long?
This is a broken man and his horn is empty. He's poured it out and poured it out and poured it out, and he is drained, and he thinks I'm gonna die an old man, and it just didn't work. But watch. God said, "Fill your horn with oil one more time". You know what I've been doing? I've been devouring this word. I just decided that if my horn is empty, I'm going to fill it up with a word. I'm gonna fill it up with prayer. I'm gonna fill it up with worship, and here's what I heard the Lord say. He said, "Samuel, one more anointing you've got to have because David is coming".
You know, there's just something about life that can empty your spirit, and the horn is empty. You're still carrying on, still going about, still moving around, but inside spiritually you're empty. You know, sometimes family can empty your horn. Sometimes marriage can just drain you. Sometimes the job can just drain you. Sometimes the pressure can just drain you. Sometimes the children can just drain you, and you finally get to the place that you still love God, but you don't have anything on the inside. And so here's what you do. This verse has always been one of my favorites because I'm a saxophone player, and I call my sax a horn, and Psalms 92:10 has always been one of my favorite verses, "But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn," listen to this, "and I," how, how's that gonna happen, "I shall be anointed with fresh oil".
Did you hear what I just said? I said every one of you who say Jesus is Lord of my life, you've got to fill that horn with fresh oil. There has to be experiences in church and with God that you just don't keep standing there drained inwardly of all the joy of the Lord because of all of the cuts and the nicks, but you come and you say with sincere hunger, "God, I'm empty on the inside. Would you fill me"? The oil is the Holy Spirit which means the oil is Jesus. Would you fill me again on the inside? Would you this Sunday morning pour your oil on me and fill my horn because if I don't get it, and here's the significance, and I close with this. He had one more anointing left in him, and it was the greatest thing. It looked like oil, it hadn't worked, but here comes that final filling of the horn with oil and when he got it in him, then he could pour it out.
And the Bible said that he anointed David to be King of Israel. Why? Because David, I need you to have, He said, "Samuel, I need your horn to be full of oil". Why? "Because there's a guy named David that you're gonna pour the anointing on, and he's gonna take a city from the Gibeonites that's gonna become Jerusalem, and by the way, in that city, there's gonna be someone who is going to carry a cross and die on that cross, and He'll be known as the Son of David, and by the way, that David that you're gonna pour the anointing on is gonna have a great, great, great-granddaughter by the name of Mary, and Mary's gonna have a little Lamb, and His name will be called Jesus, and the reason that the enemy's fought you so much is because this anointing that you're gonna pour on the final generation".
I believe that God is saying to us our young people, our teenagers, our children, they must have the oil poured on them, and I'm not talking about the physical oil. I'm talking about what is in you. If you're empty, nothing's getting on them. So, you must claim Psalms 92:10. Lord, fill my horn with fresh oil. This morning I need more than outward religion. I need life inside of me. And if your head is down and if your praise is down and if your heart and spirit is down, God wants to raise you up and fill you with fresh oil.